Previously...

Sesshoumaru's eyes flashed red then. He would dare to threaten him!!

"You should have walked away," he said silkily quiet.

"DIE!!!"

Inuyasha attacked and the battle began.

And the story continues....

"Kanna. Show me what I wish to see."

"Yes," nodded the little girl slowly. She brought her mirror up in front of her little chest and turned it to face him.

Naraku watched as the mirror's surface glowed with a bright blue light before the image took shape. He watched as an attack from Inuyasha's sword took out half his army in one sweep. Then his eyes narrowed menacingly when he saw the other inu-youkai charge forward and take out four of his demons with one swipe from his poisoned claws.

"ARGH!! DAMN THAT HANYOU!!"

Kanna didn't even flinch as the demon yelled. She didn't even seem to register it at all.

"I will kill that hanyou and his obnoxiously annoying brother," his eyes glowed as he saw a pink arrow fly through the air cutting down more of his army. "And then the miko will be mine."


Sango aimed and threw Hiraikotsu from the back of Kirara. The large boomerang took down six of the demons before returning to her. She heard a grunt from below and looked to see Mirouku being jumped by six demons. She noticed he was holding his own fine between throwing spells and using his staff and smiled.

When she saw the large insects making there way towards him from behind her smile faltered.

"MIROUKU! BEHIND YOU!!" she yelled. "Kirara down!"

When she neared the ground she leaped off of the large neko demon and pulled her sword out all in one motion. She kicked one ugly centipede demon in the head as she spun to slice through a fox youkai. She thrust her sword through another demon and used the leverage to kick anothere youkai in the chin. As she pulled her sword out of the first demon she immediately flipped it to thrust it backwards through the stomach of another demon coming up from behind her.

Sango was getting frustrated and desperate. No matter how hard she tried she couldn't get closer to Mirouku. She looked around frantically for Kirara, only to see the neko in a battle of her own. Then her eyes fell on Kagome.

She sighed in relief. Kagome was much closer to Mirouku.

"KAGOME!" when the other girl turned to her after letting loose three arrows; one rapidly following the other; she continued, "MIROUKU!!"

Kagome turned to look where Sango was pointing and started in shock. She looked around to see Inuyasha and Sesshoumaru were both taking on the brunt of the battle with Hakua trying to attack Sesshoumaru whenever he thought the Taiyoukai was too distracted. So far it hadn't been working. Kagome sighed in relief then turned to nod at Sango.

Sango nodded back as she caught Kagome's nod out the corner of her eye then immediately worked to make her way over to Kirara. It wasn't too difficult since it seemed most the demons were focused on either Sesshoumaru or Inuyasha.

Kagome put her hand out in front of her, palm facing upwards, and formed a large ball of energy in the center of her palm.

"MIROUKU! DUCK!!"

Mirouku heard his name yelled for the second time and spun to see what Kagome wanted. He only had a second to hit the ground before the large energy ball coming at him hit the two youkai in front of to fly right over him. He looked over his shoulder just in time to see the few insects that had survived the strong attack fly away.

He turned back to the miko and gave her his most charming smile.

Kagome winked and turned around just in time to duck and roll.

"BITCH!" screamed the youkai attacking her. He looked to be a lion youkai.

"THAT WAS MY FATHER!!"

Kagome tilted her head sideways at him. She figured he must be talking about one of the youkais that were attacking Mirouku that she'd just hit with the energy ball. Pure purification at its finest!

He swung his axe at her making her have to flip backwards to get out of the way. She landed on one knee. She quickly stood up and pulled out her sword. 'Obviously, a bow and arrow aren't going to work here.'

She sent her power up through the sword from her hand on the hilt causing the sword to glow with a fuscia light.

Now, the sword was made for purification.

Kagome raised her sword and waited.

The youkai growled angrily at her and attacked. The clash of his axe against her sword rung through the forest as the fight continued.


His army was losing. It was a good think there were more where they came from or he'd have no one left to fight for him.

Naraku watched avidly as Lore fought with the miko. His anger grew steadily. If Lore killed his miko he would kill the stupid lion!

He gave specific orders that the miko was to not be harmed... much. And that she was to be brought to him alive.

His eyes glowed a piercing red as he watched the battle unfold.


Kagome jumped out of the way as the axe came crashing down at her again. She was really getting tired of this. Sesshoumaru was fighting Hakua head on now and Inuyasha was taking care of anyone who tried to help the nine-foot tall demon. Sesshoumaru was using the whip on him instead of Tokijin so she wasn't particularly worried. Not yet anyway.

"USE THE CLUB YOU IDIOT!"

Everyone turned to look at the wind witch. This was the first time she'd joined the battle. Kagome huffed before blocking another blow from the axe and then threw a wild punch to his right eye.

"Really Hakua, what do you think that club is for?" asked Kagura with sarcasm. "Accessories?"

Hakua growled at her then swung the club wildly. The blow caused a graze on the Taiyoukai's left forearm as one of the spikes caught it when he jumped out of the way. Sesshoumaru looked down at his arm then back up at the youkai.

"Your getting faster Hakua. Too bad it wont be fast enough."

After saying that, Sesshoumaru charged at the youkai only to come to stop a few feet away when his vision began to waiver and blur. Soon his head began to swim and he stumbled sideways. He tried shaking his head to clear it, but that just seemed to make it worse.

'What the... What's wrong with me?'

Sesshoumaru put a hand to his head and went to step back, but when he moved his world went black.

The Taiyoukai for the first time in his life, fell unconscious to the ground in the middle of a battle.


"GOOD!" he watched intently as the inu-youkai fell. "Now kill him!! And don't screw it up!!!"

Naraku saw that his plan was working. He would have preferred a bigger hit on the Taiyoukai just to be on the safe side.

"I want that miko."

Kanna stared at him impassively as she spoke quietly.

"She is very strong."


"SESSHOUMARU!!"

Kagome turned at Inuyasha's yell and then froze as she saw the Taiyoukai laid out on the ground.

First she panicked, then she got scared... then she got angry. Really angry.

Her entire body began to glow bright with her ki as the fierce pink changed to a fuscia color. She put her hand up towards the lion youkai and hit him with a blast of purification. Then sending a strong serge of power threw her sword, and with a burst of power she threw it, point edge first, straight at Hakua.

"AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!"

Hakua screamed as the purified sword lodged in his chest as he stood over the unconscious inu-youkai. The last thing he saw before he combusted was the glowing pink eyes of the miko.

Kagome turned her gaze to the wind witch; eyes glowing fiercely. She took a step towards her when the witch jumped on her feather and flew off.

Kagura watched, as the miko got smaller as she flew away. She could still feel the miko's power. There was no way she was going up against the miko while she was mad.

"Naraku is not going to like this..." she sighed.



"What's wrong with him? Why won't he wake up?!" asked Kagome as she paced in front of the fire. "The battle was over more then three hours ago!!"

They all watched the miko as she raved. Her hair was hanging down to her waist since she'd long since pulled out the tie that was holding it up out of frustration.

They didn't realize it, but Kagome was rapidly losing it. She was so worried about the Taiyoukai she couldn't think straight. She cared about him more then she was willing to admit, and was afraid he was dieing.

'Why won't he wake up? And why won't that cut on his arm heal?'

She didn't understand it. A little scratch like that should have taken him no time at all to heal. She didn't like not knowing; she panicked when she didn't know.

"Kagome. Calm down."

"I can't Sango. I.. I just..." she sighed as she drew a hand threw her hair and took a deep breath. "I don't know. I don't want him to die."

"He wont," said Mirouku after finishing from checking the Taiyoukai over. "There wasn't enough.

"What?" asked Kagome with a confused frown on her face. "Not enough what?"

Mirouku looked at her for a moment then sighed.

"He's been poisoned Kagome."

"What? But... how?"

"I would imagine it came from the spikes on that weapon Hakua had. He was grazed on the arm by it and the cut is how the poison reached into his blood stream."

Her eyes began to glow as her face hardened in anger.

"How is he?"

"The poison they used is made especially for inu-youkai. If he'd been hit harder he would have been dead already, but as it is he will live." He watched the glow recede from her eyes with his revelation and the tension in him relaxed some. "If he was a hanyou all he would have to worry about is a severe cold, vomiting, unsteady vision, and a high temperature for four weeks. I would imagine that's why he didn't go for Inuyasha."

Her eyes widened.

"No," spoke Inuyasha for the first time that night. "The fool didn't know. Didn't you see his confusion before the fight when he looked at both Sesshoumaru and me? It was a lucky guess... or rather just stupid luck that Sesshoumaru was already fighting him."

They all were quiet for a moment as they digested this news. Inuyasha stared down at his brother. Kagome, Sango and Mirouku exchanged glances before they all looked at their friend. They would have never imagined they'd see such a look on his face over Sesshoumaru. It was as if he was... lost and didn't know what he was to do now.

"Well," began Mirouku; breaking the silence. "Time is of the essence. I need your help Kagome."

"Huh," her eyes still wide on his. "What can I do?"

"I do not know much about this poison, but I do remember that it works like a snake bite. The poison gets into the youkai's blood stream. We have to get it out now or he will be crippled in some way when he awakens. I've numbed his pain, but I do not have the skill to separate the poison. Not that it would have mattered if I did; only a miko can remove this type of poison."

"But, I thought you said it works like a snake bite. Shouldn't that mean it can be extracted like a snake bite?" asked Sango from beside Kagome. "And if that is the case, then any one of us could do that."

"Yes, it works as a snake poison, but it is in no means the same. If it was a snake poison we would already be too late to help him since the poison has been in his blood this long. This is dark magic. This poison was made by a Dark miko named Rain over two centuries ago. It was believed she'd died though, so I wonder how Naraku came by this. For it was also believed she was the only one who could make it."

"I see," said Sango as she stared at him for a moment before turning to look at Kagome. "Only a good miko can counter the spells of a Dark miko. And I would say you are as good as they come, Kagome."

"Has Kaede-sama taught you how to extract a poison of this kind?"

Kagome's face heated up as she nodded at him.

Mirouku had no idea what was causing the miko to blush with embarrassment, but he had a feeling he was going to enjoy finding out.

"Good."

Kagome swallowed as she prepared herself to do what she was about to do. She'd never done it before and she was a little nervous. Okay, she was very nervous and not just a little scared. She knew it was going to cause her a lot of pain, but it wasn't the pain that scared her. No, she could handle pain; it was the fact that she was worried she wouldn't be able to do it.

'Oh Kami-sama,'

"Your the strongest miko I've ever known Kagome," said Inuyasha quietly; he never removed his gaze from his brother.

He could smell her nervousness as well as her fear and guessed that she feared she couldn't do it, so he tried to help her the only way he was capable of. He hoped she could do it, because if she couldn't no one could.

Kagome looked over at Inuyasha and even though he wasn't looking at her she was grateful for his words. She sensed it was important to him that Sesshoumaru lived... it was important to her too. Not to mention an entire providence, an army of more then a two thousand, the people who lived on his lands, and.... a little girl that had no other family. She guessed that's how Inuyasha was feeling too. Sesshoumaru was the only blood family he had left.

She'd finally admitted to herself that she was in love with the youkai and while she had no plans on sharing the news with him, she didn't want him to die. There was good in the Taiyoukai whether he liked to believe it or not and she would not let him die if she could do anything to stop it.

"Take off his top," she said to Mirouku.

Mirouku nodded then removed the youkai's shirt. After doing that he stood and moved away from the slumbering male to give her room. He went over to stand by Sango as he watched Kagome move closer to Sesshoumaru. He could tell she was nervous and figured she was probably a little scared, but he knew she could do this. He knew how it was done and it was fairly a simple process and wouldn't take long at all since there wasn't a lot of poison to take out, but he knew it was going to be painful for her the entire way.

He lightly squeezed Sango's hand before lacing his fingers with hers. He felt as she grabbed on to his hand tightly and knew he was right to assume she was worrying for her friend.

Inuyasha took a small step back to give her room.

Kagome smiled slightly as she viewed the muscled and toned chest and blushed again. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath before moving forward to straddle the youkai's waist. She was thankful they had removed his armor earlier. She had no idea of the startled looks her friends were giving her for her eyes were trained on Sesshoumaru's face.

'He looks so peaceful. For once he's not guarding himself.'

She had chosen to sit on him this way because she needed body contact as well and this was as far as she was comfortable with. She tried to fight down her embarrassment, which had completely taken over her nervousness, as she drew on her power. Kagome knew her face must be as red as a tomato, but she couldn't think about that now.

Kagome threw her head back as her power rose swiftly up and her eyes flew open as they glowed bright with the pale pink light again. She looked into the eyes of Inuyasha as he stood a few steps back from Sesshoumaru's head.

'I promise he won't die Inuyasha. He won't die.'

She placed her hands flat on his chest as she leaned forward towards his face. Her hair fell on either side blocking them from all eyes except Inuyasha who stood above Sesshoumaru's head. She opened her mouth over his, about three inches away, releasing a pink light that shot straight to his mouth causing it to open. It took only a moment for the light to find the poison and send it back to her.

Kagome watched as the tiny black particles came shooting back up through the pink light and tried to prepare herself for the oncoming pain. Her eyes began to water as intense waves of pain shot down through her body. She could feel it as her power killed the poison inside her as she continued to draw the rest out of him.

Her body began to shake lightly as the pain continued to wash over her. When she felt there was no more poison coming out of him she closed her mouth and swallowed the last of it down. She reached a shaky hand up to his face as she touched the tips of her fingers to the purple slash marks on his cheeks. It didn't escape her notice that if he were awake he would never allow her to do this... or sit on him for that matter.

The pain had subsided greatly and was only a small throbbing now, but she knew she was going to pass out soon. She moved her other hand up to his neck to feel for his pulse and sighed in relief when she felt it. She lifted her eyes to his face then sucked in her breath in shock as her eyes collided with amber orbs.

"You're going to be alright," she whispered then gave him a wobbly smile.

She had no idea if he heard her for his eyes closed once more and he slept. She slid her fingers up his face until she could lay her palm along his cheek and then finally consumed to the darkness that was pulling at her.

Kagome collapsed on top of the sleeping youkai below her.

Inuyasha had watched the whole thing and had to fight not to move as he could sense the pain she was going through. He had a perfect view of her face and could see the tears that he doubted she was aware of. He had seen the promise in her eyes when she'd looked at him with her eyes glowing bright. He had figured Kagome was doing this because she was an inherently good person that couldn't stand to see someone in pain, but after seeing her touch his brother's face the way she had he wondered if perhaps there was another reason for her doing what she did.

He wondered how he would feel if something was between them as he stepped forward to move her unconscious body off of Sesshoumaru's.

"No."

He stopped to look at the monk questioningly. Why shouldn't he move her?

"You must leave her as she is. Her power is killing the poison she took inside her as well as healing the damage to his blood so his own power to heal can heal any damage done to him. They must stay in as much physical contact as possible until it is finished."

Inuyasha nodded mutely and stepped back.

After a moment of silence and staring at the sleeping couple, one on top of the other, Sango moved over to a near by tree and lowered herself to the ground.

"We might as well get some rest. I imagine they will both sleep through the night," she said softly.

Mirouku moved to sit beside her as for the first time in a long time Inuyasha move to another tree and sat on the ground at its base instead of hopping to the top of the tree.

It was a long time before either of them actually fell asleep.


Sesshoumaru knew he must have been poisoned and that he was unconscious because of it. But, all he could think of was Kagome. He prayed that they would keep her away from Naraku.

He knew something had happened when the black world around him started to lighten as it went from shades of gray to white. He guessed that the poison inside of him was being removed. He didn't know what that poison was or how close he'd come to being killed; if he was just a bit slower at reacting; but he do know it wasn't good. Usually his blood would start dispel any type of poison, except his own, on contact and though he knew there was pain involved in that he'd never passed out from it.

This was different, but he wasn't sure how.

After sitting in the light and feeling a strange, yet familiar warmth wash over him he felt himself being awakened. As if he was being pulled to the surface from being deep under water. He could feel his chest tighten as his lungs struggled to pump normally. When the odd sensation stopped he'd opened his eyes only to see white dots in front of him. As his vision focused he realized the white dots were stars and that he was lying on his back.

Then he was looking at watery blue orbs.

It took him a moment to realize there was a soft and lightweight object was on top of him and that the blue orbs belonged to it. And it wasn't until the object spoke before he realized just what it was.

"You're going to be alright."

Kagome. She was there and she was okay.

He had sighed to himself in relief before consuming to the need for sleep his body was telling him he needed.

And that's what he did knowing he'd see her when he woke up.

Dream Sequence

She sat along the riverbank with her knees pulled up to her chest. The sky was a piercing blue with the sun shining high up in it. She could see the shine of it reflecting off of the water's surface while all around flowers of all colors bloomed.

It was simply beautiful.

Kagome sighed as she rested and enjoyed the scenery around her. She could feel a warm tingly feeling running through her body and knew her power was healing her from the poison she took out of Sesshoumaru so no damage would be done to her. While the poison could not hurt her, but the dark magic it was made from could; her body was working to prevent that from happening.

Which made her sure that she was dreaming.

She started when a large white wolf sat down beside her

And boy, was he large. He wasn't nearly as big as Sesshoumaru in his transformed state, but he was as big as a full-grown lion. Which was much larger then any wolf she knew of or heard of. But, since she was in a dream she felt no fear.

She turned her head to look at the dog and looked into dark blue eyes

'Dark blue eyes!' Her eyes widened as she wondered if the wolf was who she thought he was. She stared at his eyes and had to marvel at their color. They really did look like a night sky did right before it was completely black. At the time where you could still see some of the blue it had once been and you knew it would be again.

'Beautiful,' she thought as she still wondered who he was and more importantly why was he in her dream?

"He is with me."

Kagome's head swiveled around to the sound of the voice. She stared at the lovely woman as she looked into startling green eyes. The woman had to be the most beautiful woman she'd ever seen. Who was she? 'Could she be...'

"Who are you?"

"You already know the answer to that Kagome Higurashi."

Kagome blinked in surprise at hearing her full name coming from someone she knew she'd never seen before that moment.

"You're Ayaela the Sorceress?" at the other woman's nod Kagome looked at her again. Taking in the long, gold mass of hair, the light tan, and the green dress she was wearing before returning to her eyes that were the same shade of green as the dress. She remembered what Kaede had said about the woman and wondered if she was seeing her real face.

"Yes, you are seeing me as I am. I do not usually do this since I have learned through the years that I have learned that I have a face that is not easily forgotten. But, for you and all that you have done I have decided I will put no pretenses between us. So you shall always see me this way. Not many do. Your Taiyoukai is one that does if only because he would see the lie for what it was... and I have a kindred spirit in him."

Kagome had no idea what she meant by that last statement about kindred spirits. She figured she was probably talking about the fact Sesshoumaru had a face one didn't forget easily as well, but she couldn't be sure.

"I am glad to see that you received my gift."

Kagome gave her a confused look.

"I don't know what you mean." She was surprised when the woman sitting beside her began to sing.

"Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Come to me my hand for to ask. For thou then art a true love of mine," she laughed lightly. "Parsley for the spirit and to help soothe a troubled mind. Sage for strength and faith to see and understand. Rosemary for love and nothing more and Thyme for courage to do what needs to be done."

Kagome smiled and focused on the familiar tune as she was unsure of how to respond to that.

"My mother and Kaede-sama have been singing that lately. For some reason I remind them of it."

"Yes, I would imagine so."

Kagome gave her another odd look. That wasn't the response she was expecting.

"Well," she began a little awkwardly. "I see I remind you of it too."

"Yes, but then that is expected." Seeing the younger girl continue to look confused Ayaela decided to tell her. After all, the spell was finished and fulfilled.

"Though it is a song now, it was once a spell. A spell of love and faith and of courage and truth. A spell for soul mates that are destined to be true lovers and it needs those four ingredients. That is the only way it works and it was my gift to you."

Kagome sat in stunned surprise. 'A gift? A love spell?' She didn't know what to think or whether she should be happy or angry. She had to know more first.

"You put a love spell on me?"

"Yes."

"And who have you made me fall in love with?" Kagome asked softly; afraid of the answer. Could the feelings she'd been feeling for him be from a spell? Which meant they weren't real? She didn't want that to be true.

Now it was Ayaela's turn to look shocked. She had not thought the girl would misunderstand her so completely. Nor insult her in such a way.

"No. That is dark magic and I do not do such things," she said her eyes flashing with a dangerous light.

Kagome's eyes went wide as she saw the angry power in the other woman's eyes. She did not mean to offend the woman, but only to understand. How was she to know that a love spell was dark magic?

"I didn't mean to imply anything or offend you. I didn't know," she said honestly. "I don't understand then. You said it was a love spell."

Seeing her sincerity Ayaela nodded in acceptance.

"Yes, it was a spell of love, but not one to create love. That is dark magic. Creating something that is not meant to be there can only hurt both parties; especially when it comes to love. Love is strongest power on Earth. It has stood the test of time and has brought about great happiness as well as intense pain. And it will continue to do so long after we are all gone. But, that which is love cannot be created with magic, but what can be created is an echo of that power which is infinitely worse. The spell I cast is a spell of acknowledgement."

"Acknowledgement?"

"Yes," she smiled. "To make one acknowledge what is already there."

Kagome felt a since of panic, but for the life of her did not know why.

"Take it off!"

"I cannot do that." Ayaela tilted her head as she studied the young miko. "Once begun it cannot be undone. It must run its course. Which it has already done, so you need not worry if that is what is bothering you."

"What do you mean by 'it has already done'? Already done what?"

"The spell was only meant to make you see and acknowledge your heart's desire. You have done this; if only to yourself. What you do with that knowledge is entirely up to you."

"Oh."

Kagome sat quietly and thought about that. She was happier knowing what it was that she was feeling for Sesshoumaru, but how what she feel having to be around him and knowing what it was she wanted and not being able to have it? Perhaps she was better off not knowing. It's hard loving someone and knowing they don't love you, she should know this was her second time around, wasn't it. But, this was much worse then the first. She wasn't sure if she had it in her to get over Sesshoumaru like she did with Inuyasha.

"I would not have done this if his heart was not open to you as well," said Ayaela quietly. She had heard the other girl's thoughts and had to put her fear to rest. "I had even thought of putting the same spell on him, but it would not have worked."

"Why wouldn't it have worked on Sesshoumaru?" asked Kagome. Saying his name for the first time aloud. A part of her wanted to be sure they were speaking of the same person; though she knew they were.

"Subconsciously you knew what you were feeling, but in your mind, consciously, you didn't. So, I help you see. He on the other hand, knows what he is feeling towards you; though he is having trouble giving it a name. He is also denying it. There is a difference between not knowing and denying."

"Yes, that I know," said Kagome dryly with a shake of her head.

"You two have much in common from great power to being very stubborn. A match between you will shock some and surprise many... and perhaps anger a few. But, I have seen such a match work before," her eyes shifted briefly to the wolf on the other side of Kagome before she continued, " and what obstacles you have in common with the couple that came before you can be overcome in your situation. You can become something more then what you are."

Sesshoumaru had feelings for her? 'For me?!' She was having trouble digesting that. And while she thought it would be nice if it were true, she wasn't sure it was.

"I cannot make you confess... or him. Well, actually I could, but I won't. It is up to you. I won't do all the work for you. Love brings its own risks and rewards. You must decide for yourself if one is worth the other."

Kagome nodded as she thought about her words.

"Thank you for the gift."

"You are welcome Kagome," she gave her a winning smile. "Now I must go. It is almost time for you to wake up and I believe you're youkai cushion will have some questions," her eyes twinkled like gems at Kagome's blush. "Take care Kagome. I shall see you again. And perhaps then you can tell me your story and I will tell you mine."

"Alright."

Kagome smiled at her and gave the white wolf's back a rub as he walked in front of her to go stand with the sorceress. She was amazed at how soft his fur was and couldn't help wondering if Sesshoumaru's tail felt the same or was softer.

"Until then, goodbye Kagome."

"Goodbye."

Kagome watched as both woman and wolf disappeared in a swirl of sparkling dust. She sat quietly for a moment thinking about all she had learned before she felt herself being pulled and once more succumbed to the waiting darkness.

End Dream Sequence

Kagome opened her eyes and blinked when the darkness didn't go away. It took her a moment to realize the darkness was from her face being pressed against something soft. She breathed in softly and smiled at the familiar scent as she realized just where she was.

'Sesshoumaru.'

She was still lying on top of him. In fact, she was almost stretched out completely on him, except her legs were spread in away where the inside of her thighs lay along the outside of his. She was so happy she still had on clothes.

"Do you plan to remove yourself soon?"

She heard the voice and stilled. He was awake. 'Damn!'

In fact, Sesshoumaru had been awake for almost a half an hour. He'd woken to finding the warm body of the miko on top of him and though he knew he should have moved her right away; he'd never had a ningen so close to him; he couldn't bring himself to do it.

He liked having her there. It took every bit of his training and will power to keep from wrapping his arms around her and pulling her closer to him.

Sesshoumaru told himself that he would let her stay as to not interrupt her sleep, knowing she was healing, but that she'd better wake up soon.

And now thirty minutes later she'd wakened; he'd heard her breathing change from that of a calm sleep and he'd known exactly when her eyes had opened for he'd felt the brush or her lashes against his neck where her face was buried at; he couldn't stop himself from thinking it was too soon.

She slowly lifted up off him. He heard her give a light groan at the movement. He figured her back was probably aching a bit. Then his eyes connected with the blue of hers.

They stared fixedly at one another. Neither one moved.

"Kagome?"

The unexpected voice knocked her out of her trance as she started in surprise. She turned her head in the direction of the person who spoke to stare in another pair of amber eyes. Kagome could see the question in Inuyasha's eyes, but for the life of her she didn't know how to answer it. Now that Ayaela had helped her understand everything she didn't know what to do. She still got the funny feeling in her stomach and her heart still pumped a little faster when he was around. At the moment it was working over time; she was surprised they couldn't hear it for how hard it was pumping.

But, she also noticed that the little tingly feeling that she had started to get around him was gone as well as the sweet smell of roses.

Being so close to him she wasn't sure she could still go on as if nothing had changed for her... and from the look in Inuyasha's eyes she had a feeling she wasn't the only one who knew of her feelings for the Taiyoukai.

Inuyasha had thought about all through the night; that's how long it had taken him to see just what was happening. He knew his friend very well for she was one of the most important people in his life and he prided himself on being able to read her. And he knew that she wouldn't have reacted so strongly as she did at seeing his brother falling to Hakua if she only cared about him as a friend. That was anger brought out of someone who cared about someone very much. Then how she was so worried, scared and panicky when they got Sesshoumaru to the campsite to check him over? He'd seen that before; when his mother had fallen ill when he was just a pup his father had acted just that way and every time his father went to patrol his lands at night his mother was the one to act that way.

No, he knew there was more to Kagome's reaction then simple worry and just now when he saw them staring into each other's eyes he was sure there was more to it. And he had a feeling that it wasn't only one-sided.

If it was the way he thought it was, Inuyasha thought it was quite ironic that his brother was in love with one of the species he swore wasn't worth the effort

There was only one other human Sesshoumaru had ever liked; and that was Inuyasha's mother. Though his brother had never admitted to it. Not when she was alive and not after she died, but Inuyasha knew. A person did not spend as much time as Sesshoumaru spent with his mother if they didn't have to, if they did not like that person.

If Kagome wanted to be with his brother he would not stand in her way or try to stop her. He knew Sesshoumaru could and would take care of her if he decided to keep her. And Inuyasha suspected he would choose to keep her. If there was one thing he could say about his brother it was that Sesshoumaru protected what belonged to him.

'He better!' thought Inuyasha. He would not allow Kagome to be hurt again.

So he would accept. Besides this could be a good thing for them all. It was no secret that Sango, Shippou, Mirouku and himself was somewhat dreading the day the fight with Naraku was over and Kagome would return to her own time and family. They were afraid they'd never see her again. But if she was to become Sesshoumaru's mate and therefore the Lady of the Western Lands... well, she would have to stay with them, right?

He didn't see any problem with that.

"Are you alright Kagome?"

Kagome looked over to Sango and saw her standing next to Mirouku. Their fingers interlaced as they held hands. She tried to give her friend a reassuring smile since she couldn't find her voice, but even that was wobbly and not just a little watery as her eyes began to tear up. Kagome tried to stop the tears by swallowing and taking a deep breath, but the tears only sped up. Kagome didn't understand what was wrong with her as her vision began to waiver. All she could think when she looked at her friends holding hands was; 'I want that.'

She could feel the sympathy coming off of Sango in heat waves and turned her face away from it. She didn't want anyone's sympathy! She got herself into this problem and she would deal with it... somehow. She looked over at Inuyasha and almost gasped at what she read in his eyes.

She could read his concern, but she could also see approval.

Though she was thankful that he was upset with her for falling for his brother; she knew they didn't have the best brother-to-brother relationship; but couldn't he see that this wasn't a good thing?! What could be good about her loving someone who had no hope of loving her back? Or if what Ayaela had said was true, would never allow himself to love her?

Kagome's breathing started becoming erratic as she steadily worked herself into a small panic. She looked down at Sesshoumaru, but in her surprise at seeing an emotion on his face and the fact that she had worked up to a full blown attack, she mistaken the concern she saw for pity.

'I have to get out of here! I need to breathe, I need to think!'

With that thought running through her head, ignoring the ache in her lower back, Kagome got to her feet and ran away. Straight out of the campsite.

Sesshoumaru watched the miko runaway with her hair flying in the wind behind her in shock and puzzlement. He had sensed her fear and worry and he could smell the panic she was in, but what he couldn't sense was why.

He had watched, as she'd looked from Inuyasha in surprise to her other friends. And he had sensed the satisfaction and happiness she'd felt at seeing the monk and the exterminator together, but then her mood had abruptly changed to offended anger then... sadness? And when she turned to look at him and he saw the tears for the first time in his life, Sesshoumaru didn't know what to do.

Then, she was running away.

"I would suggest you go after her. She does not know these woods and could easily get herself lost. But, if that is not reason enough for you to go get her perhaps the fact that she risked herself for you is," said Mirouku quietly.

Sesshoumaru got gracefully to his feet; giving no indication that he heard anything Mirouku had said.

"I can't believe I'm saying this, but the monk's right," said Inuyasha with a grimace. "I saw her face when she saw you fall yesterday in that fight. I've never seen her so angry before. She took down Hakua and that lion youkai all on her own. She cares about you and you owe it to her to be straight with her."

Sesshoumaru was surprised at that.

"I owe nothing," responded Sesshoumaru with a look of extreme irritation. He had never been indebted to anyone and was not about to start now and definitely not with a ningen.

"Yes you do Sesshoumaru!" said Inuyasha as he stood to his feet and faced off against his brother once more. "I know what you deny for I've seen it. You are slipping brother. You do not guard yourself as well as you use to." He watched as Sesshoumaru merely arched a brow at his tactics then sighed. "Just go after her Sesshoumaru. You know you want to and you've always done whatever you wanted, so why stop now."

The two brothers stared at one another and for the first time in a long time there was a glimpse of their past. For the first time Mirouku got an idea of how the two brothers once were before Kikyo and the Shikon no tama came into their lives. He felt an acute sadness for in that small glimpse he also saw that there was no way they would ever be that way with one another again. Too much had come to pass and too many things had been done to by one or the other to ever break the wall between them.

But, perhaps with time, if they had it, they could probably find a new place and he had a feeling that Kagome was the key to getting them there.

Mirouku watched as the Taiyoukai turned to look at both him and Sango for a moment then turn and walk away in the direction Kagome had ran off in. He smiled for he knew what the look meant. In acknowledging their presence for the first time the Taiyoukai was giving Sango and him the respect he deemed them worthy of receiving. He knew that for them being human that it was a high compliment.

"Will he catch her?" asked Sango.

"I would say so. The only thing that lies in that direction is the mountain river."


Kagome stood by the river as she looked around in shock. It was the same spot from her dream! From the sun's rays sparkling off the river's surface to the colorful flowers. It was the exact same spot. She half hoped that the wolf and the sorceress would show up, but she knew they wouldn't.

All around her was the echo of her dream and in her mad dash to get away from all that she learned and all that was realized she ended up right in the one place she did not want to be.

Kagome fell to her knees as the flood gates behind her eyes opened up once more and she cried for everything she knew she wanted, but would never have.

That's how he found her.

Sesshoumaru came to a stop directly behind her. She was on her knees with her long ebony hair flying wildly in the breeze. The air was permeated with the scent of her tears. He didn't like the feeling he got inside him when she cried. It was worse then the indigestion he felt when Rin did the same thing.

It was very annoying.

He moved to stand beside her and watched as she hurriedly wiped her tears away with her hands. He waited for her to finish and be still before speaking.

"Are you alright?"

She looked up at him in surprise. That was the first time he'd ever spoken to her first. Usually she was the one to initiate a conversation, if you could call what they had conversations.

He looked down into her watery blue orbs as she shuck her head 'yes'.

"Why are you crying?"

Her eyes went wide before she looked away from him. How could she answer that without telling him? Without lying? He was an inu-youkai he'd sense her lying before she'd even finished the lie!

'Should I just tell him?'

'Oh yea, and then he'll confess his own undying love for you...'

She frowned at her inner voice. There was a time and place for sarcasm; this wasn't it.

"I don't think I can do this. Not again..." she whispered to herself.

"Do what? And if you have done it once what harm is there in doing it a second time?"

She gave him a startled look; not realizing she had spoke aloud, but her look quickly changed to one of indignation as she got to her feet and turned a heated gaze on him.

"Well that's just mean!!" she yelled at him causing his ears to twitch. "I shouldn't have to do it a second time! In fact, I shouldn't have had to do it a first time!! But, that's all water under the bridge and I can't change it but I can damn well make sure it doesn't happen again!!!"

Sesshoumaru stared at the shrew as he contemplated the merits of gagging her. Did she really have to yell like that? He was standing less then a foot away from her and he could hear very well. Besides that, he had no idea what she was talking about. All he did was ask a simple question.

"You will tone down your voice."

Kagome opened her mouth to scream at him that he couldn't order her around when she noticed his ears twitching and recalled that he had sensitive hearing like... a dog.

"Sorry," she apologized. "I shouldn't have yelled at you, but that was a cruel thing to say."

"I did not say anything. I merely asked a question. In truth, I have no idea what you are talking about."

That was when she realized that he was right; he didn't know what she was talking about. She'd bitten his head off for a callous remark that wasn't meant to be callous at all.

"Oh," she blushed in embarrassment.

He saw as her cheeks tinged pink and wondered what she'd look like flushed for another reason, then immediately kicked that thought away.

"Hm," he growled. "So, what is it you cannot do?"

Sesshoumaru didn't know what he was expecting in answer, but whatever it was it wasn't what she said.

"I can't be around you like this."

Now it was his turn to be shocked. Well, it looked like Inuyasha was wrong, once again. No surprise there. He gave her a look then nodded before turning around and beginning to head back to the campsite.

Kagome watched him turn and start to leave as she got the feeling she'd offended him. Yet, she didn't see how that was possible.

"Sesshoumaru?" When he turned to look at her she said the first thing that came to her head. "Please don't go."

He gave her a long searching look as her eyes locked on to his sun-kissed pupils, before returning to her side.

"I thought you wished me to go?"

"What made you think that?" she asked confusedly.

"Is that not what you just told me?" he said after determining her confusion was genuine.

"What? NO!" she winced when his ears twitched. "Sorry, didn't mean to yell that time. But, no I don't want you to leave from here. You misunderstood me."

"Then what did you mean?" he asked though he didn't see how he could have misunderstood.

Kagome was the one to give him a searching look this time. Then she nodded to herself after coming to a decision.

"I didn't mean I couldn't be here with you like this," she began as she turned her gaze back to the river; not that she saw the river. All she could see was his face. "What I meant is that I can't stay here and be around you knowing that I'm in love with you and trying to act like it doesn't matter to me... that you don't matter to me. I did that once before and I couldn't do it and then I wasn't even really in love. Not if this feeling inside me when I'm around you is anything to go by."

She swallowed as silence fell between them and after a moment she looked down at her feet as if she found something down there that was completely too fascinating to take her eyes off of.

Sesshoumaru insides flipped as he listened to what she said. He couldn't believe Inuyasha was right. She was his. And he wanted her. Now that he had her he was not letting her go, so he hoped she was sure for she would not ever get a chance to change her mind.

When he mated her, and he would for he'd already decided that was next, he would mark her and in doing so he would extend her life to match his own life span.

He was keeping her.

Kagome was getting worried. He had yet to say anything and the quiet was making her nervous all over again. She almost jumped out of her skin when she sensed him move.

Sesshoumaru moved to stand in front of her and waited for her to lift her head. After a moment of no movement from her he placed a clawed finger under her chin and lifted her gaze to his.

He stare down at her and watched the emotions flit across her face. He liked the fact she was so open. It was a refreshing change from the female youkai who were always after him for there own reasons; mainly for the right to be called Lady of the Western Lands.

Slowly he lowered his head until his lips touched hers softly before he rubbed his lips along her full bottom lip. He parted his lips and gently touched the tip of his tongue to her bottom lip and licked across it's softness asking for entrance. She shuddered lightly as her eyes fluttered closed and her lips parted to let him in. Taking the offering, he quickly dipped his tongue inside to take the kiss deeper. He wrapped his arms around her waist to pull her flush up against him as his tongue waged an intimate battle with hers.

He pulled back a few minutes later when the need for air could no longer be ignored by either of them. Kagome smiled radiantly at him as her eyes sparkled with the love she felt for him alone.

Sesshoumaru didn't think he'd ever seen her look more beautiful then she did at that moment.

"Mine."

Kagome's face warmed when he spoke then she moved her hands from his biceps to wrap her arms around his neck.

"Yours. Always."

Fin

And that people, was all she wrote.

Hope you liked it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Ch.6 to The Feud: A Marriage Made In Heaven should be up on Wednesday and Ch. 20 to A Second Chance At Love on Friday... maybe sooner if I can pull it off.

Sorry for the wait. All I can say is that I received a promotion at work and had to go through a God-awful training course!! What was I thinking?!?!?!?